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Common Sense

Millard South High School • 14905 Q St. • Omaha, Neb., 68137

December 16, 2016

Volume 17 Issue 4

Santa Sutfin gifts laptops to MPS students

As this semester comes to a close and the spring semester nears, the fabled “one to one,” laptop initiative is becoming reality. With the laptops planned on being issued within the first week of the next semester, During the spring semester of 2016, some students became part of the pilot program for the initiative. The purpose of the program was to test the functionality of the laptops and to see how classes would operate when each student has one. The pilot program lasted that entire semester, and was run again at the beginning of this semester. The laptops that were issued this semester were more up-to-date, though, and give a better sense of what students should expect to receive next semester. The one-to-one initiative has been received with mixed emotions by students, however. “I think it’s a really cool idea and will truly benefit the younger grades, but is kind of useless for seniors since we only get it for one semester,” senior Sydney Watton said. “The laptops seem like a great opportunity for students to get more experience as to what a college environment will be like,” senior Andie Gutierrez said. Some other students are still unclear about the true purpose. The main goal of the One-To-One initiative is not just to modernize the way students learn, but to modernize the way they think. “It’s not so much about the device,” said Dr. Curtis Case, director of digital learning. “What we’re trying to do is transform how teachers teach and how students learn,” he said. “We want them to be less consumers of information and more like producers of information. If every student has a device, we will be able to do more work that involves collaboration and critical thinking.” It seems that future classes will center more around Google Classroom and other applications that are part of the GAFE. “We as teachers will need to have some form of Google Classroom up and running, as well as a calendar that will act like a student’s assignment notebook,” Dr. Jennifer Wilson said. Wilson was one of the teachers who led the meetings on how to teach with the new initiative in action. “It will be different for each teacher,” Dr. Wilson said. “A lot of the math classes are struggling with finding a way for the laptops to make their class easier and not harder,” she said. What Wilson is referring to is the fact that working out math formulas is generally easier to do on paper than it is on a Word document. “Take stoichiometry for example. You would be able to form the equation on a laptop, but if you were to do it on paper you could just write the numbers down and do it much quicker. All the things like subscripts and superscripts are harder to type on a laptop than to write on paper,” Dr. Wilson said. This, among other reasons, is why some classes will be less dependent on the laptops than others. However, laptops will be a significant part of most classes sooner rather than later. This raises one question: What if the students don’t want a laptop? “We can’t make a student take a laptop if they don’t want one. However, the teachers will be teaching under the assumption that every student has a laptop, so they are not required to accommodate students who didn’t take one,” Dr. Case said. “If a student has their own computer, they won’t be able to use it like one of the school’s laptops

Pride Time First B Day Your laptop will be deployed by your Pride Time teacher




TO :E ac FR h O St M ud :M en PS t Te ch no lo gy

Eric Murcek Staff Reporter

The laptop that students will be receiving is a HP x360. The device features an Intel Pentium Quad Core 1.6 GHZ-8GB Memory-120GB Solid State Hard Drive-1366x768 touch screen also with: WiFi, HDMI output, headphone jack, 3 USB ports, Ethernet network port, and an SD card reader.

because we will be installing software into the laptops that we aren’t allowed to install onto personal computers,” he said. Another question about the laptops is where the funding for them is coming from. Over the last couple years, budget cuts in the Millard school district has caused some students to worry about whether or not their school activities would continue. It also just so happens that the one-toone initiative is taking place right after the aforementioned budget cuts. However, it should be known that the budget cuts were not made to fund the laptops. While some money was needed to kick-off the initiative, it will not cost the district any extra money going forward.

Your laptop may not be fully charged on the 9th. Teachers are not planning lessons to use them on Monday. Plan to charge it at home and bring on Tuesday and every day thereafter.

“We’re doing this cost neutral,” Dr. Case said. “We’re not replacing any technology in the libraries or labs, so it’s not costing us any more to give the laptops than it would to replace the desktops in the school,” he said. As with any change, there has been some resistance to the one-to-one initiative. However, the purpose of this initiative is to help the students learn and think like they would in the modern world. Those students who are criticizing the initiative solely because they “don’t like technology” will find that education (and work) with technology is more of the rule than the exception today. As for the students who are going into this initiative open-minded, they should find that it will bring their education level up and prepare them for life after high school.

Teachers will not have extra cords for charging nor extra laptops for students who forget.

Your laptop will only recognize your login. No one else can use it. Do not loan it to another student

only you


News 12 • 16 • 2016

The circle of laptops All high school students get a new laptop

Class of 2017 gives laptops to class of 2022 (currently 7th graders)

Class of 2022 gives class of 2023 (currently 6th graders)

Class of 2018 gives laptop to class of 2024 (currently 5th graders)

their laptop when leaving MS

Class of 2022 gets a new laptop as a freshman.

Class of 2020 has the option to buy their laptops

Art by AJ Bierwith.

New tech facilitator guy is a hole in one Jessica Malashock Distribution Manager Technology facilitator Dylan Crislip replaces a motherboard for a desktop computer from the lab in the library. Most of the desktop machines will be leaving after the 1:1 deployment. Photo by Maddie Rynes

On May 28, 2016 the Millard South ping stone to a career family welcomed tech guy Dylan in computer science. Chrislip. Once he heard there was Chrislip grew up in Fremont an opening at Millard and then attended the University of South, he jumped at the Nebraska at Lincoln. Before getting a opportunity. degree, he transferred to the Univer “I can see myself sity of South Florida where some of having a full career his family lived. here,” Chrislip said. When in Florida, Chrislip Chrislip is a tech specialwanted to be a professional golfer at a ist and repairs hardware. clubhouse. He was in the PGA profes- His favorite part about sional golf management university his job is sharing his program at both colleges but along knowledge of hardware the way decided that his desired with students and staff. career changed. In Chrislip’s free Instead of finishing school, time, he enjoys to play Technology facilitator Chrislip decided to go right into video games. Dylan Chrislip the workforce. Without a degree in “I’m a true nerd at his field, he had to learn on the job heart,” Chrislip said. “My favorite game is World of Warand teach craft,” himself. He He actually met his wife through worked at the game. She lived in California and I can see myself having a a computer he lived in Florida. They met in the full career here, repair shop middle and moved back to Fremont. –Dylan Chrislip which he Even though he and his wife just Technology Facilitator intended recently had a baby and free time is on to use as short supply, he still finds time to play. a step-


News 12 • 16 • 2016

Outta here . . .

Early graduates get a jump start on life Kathryn Willenborg Staff Secretary While many seniors are counting down the months to ways had a passion for esthetics and cosmetics, and I have graduation, new beginnings, and independence, some sealready met all the criteria needed to enroll at Capitol, so it niors began the countdown process a few months ago and just made the most sense,” Swanson said. will be getting a head start on their journey to adulthood. Swanson said that a common misconception of indi“After graduation, I plan to enlist in the Marines and work viduals attending beauty school is that it’s just the cheap, more so I can save up some moneasy, and fast choice to not have to ey instead of wasting my time on attend college at a university for Between graduation and May classes I don’t need,” senior Zach years and pay crazy amounts of when the class begins, I am Adcock said. money. At Capitol and other hair going to work as often as I This year, nearly 33 seniors and makeup schools, tests, studyopted for early graduation. While ing, and homework are still a major can so I can contribute to my several of these early graduates component to not only success, but tuition. intend to pick up extra hours graduation. –Maisa Swanson at their jobs, others plan to get “Between graduation and May senior started on working towards their when the class begins, I am going career ambitions. to work as often as I can so I can Senior Maisa Swanson contribute to my tuition. I’m also ‘shadowed’ a hair and makeup consultant at Capitol School planning on continuing to practice my makeup skills on my of Hairstyling and Esthetics. Doing so offered a more infriends and family. After I graduate in September in esthetdepth orientation of the school Swanson is enrolled in for ics, I plan on re-enrolling in 2018 to study cosmetology May 2017. so I am able to capitalize and expand on as many of these “I’m really eager to start school at Capitol. I have allittle skills as possible so prepare me for a successful future

Zachary Adcock Enlisting in the Marines

Sejla Ridjic Relaxing

with endless possibilities,” Swanson said. While some students are fervent to pursue their callings as soon as possible, others are jumping at the opportunity for relaxation and self improvement. “I’m planning on graduating early so I can take a break before college starts,” senior Sejla Ridijic said. “I just want some time to relax.” For senior Melissa Fabian, finances are a major factor to her decision to graduate early. “I want to spend a month focusing on myself, and then I will start at Metro Community College to get my prerequisites and generals taken care of,” Fabian said. That way, I can transfer to UNO from Metro so it will be cheaper. I want to be able to work more and save money for my brothers boot camp graduation,” Fabian said. “Once I had completed all of my credits, there was no point in continuing my education at Millard South when I could be more productive elsewhere,” she said.

Melissa Fabian Attending Metropolitan Community College

Maisa Swanson Attending Capitol School of Hairstyling and Esthetics

From high school halls to the board room; Millard North grad wins school board seat Vanessa Chavez News Editor November 8 Amanda McGill

school board position because she has “a deep passion for Millard, education in general, and for using public policy to make Johnson was elected the new member our state and city an even better place to for the Millard School Board. live.” McGill Johnson graduated Millard “I believe the best ways to make a North High School in 1998. While in difference is to high school, Mcrun for office Gill Johnson says it and be actively took her a few years I believe the best way to make engaged in policy to figure out what a difference is to run for office making. When I she wanted to be and be actively engaged in learned there was involved in. Her jupolicy making. an opening on the nior year, she signed board, I thought up for the Forensics –Amanda McGill Johnson using my previous Team and found Millard School Board Member experience as her home. She a State Senator even went on to do would be a great way to give back to my speech in college.  She also had small school district.  I have a strong passion in roles in the three theater productions the areas of college preparedness, career her senior year. McGill Johnson was academies, early childhood education and inducted into Millard North’s Hall of youth mental health,” McGill Johnson said. Fame last year. For college she studied McGill Johnson said her first priority at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a board member is “to learn about the where she got her bachelor’s degrees in budget and what our options are financially broadcast journalism and political scito keep our schools as great as they are.” ence. “I want to maintain and grow our McGill Johnson said she ran for the th

diverse educational opportunities so that we that guides decisions made by district staff,” have a spectrum of programing that meets she said. the needs of students of all backgrounds Outside of the Board, McGill Johnson and interests.  At the same works at the Nebraska Chiltime, the district’s sources of dren’s Home Society, a staterevenue have been shrinking. wide non-profit that supports You can’t spend money you kids and families.  NCHS don’t have.  We need to strike does adoptions, parenting the right balance of finding services and classes, foster savings and looking for new care and teen pregnancy sources of revenue,” she said. prevention.   McGill Johnson said she is “I do community outinterested in hearing from reach and help figure out students and families about what the needs are in the their priorities for the discommunity and how we can trict and wants all to know help.  We do a lot in Omaha that her door is always open. around teen pregnancy, both         Right now McGill Johnwith prevention and with son is going through orienta- Amanda McGill Johnson facilitating open adoptions or tion and meeting all the helping young mom’s prepare administrators involved in to be parents, whichever is running the school district.   right for them,”  she said. In “I’m learning about things like how addition to that she and her husband are curriculum is developed and what policies expecting their first baby, a boy, in Februwe have in place to keep students safe. As a ary. board member, my role will be to work with the other board members to craft policy


Features 12 • 16• 2016

Foreign exchange student horses around

Exchange student Caroline Lienhard halters Sugar before taking her out to lead her. Though a friend of a friend, Lienhard was able to continue her hobby while on her exchange. Photo by McKenna Krueger Exchange student Caroline Lienhard leads Sugar so they can learn to understand each other’s body language. Sugar is a sorrel paint horse whose owner has been unable to ride her and Lienhard has been able to work with her this semester. Photo by McKenna Krueger

Jessica Lukecart Staff Reporter Not many students here at Millard South are from a different state, let alone country. Caroline Lienhard is not only an exchange student from Germany she also has a hobby here in America, she rides horses. Lienhard first started riding as a small child because her grandparents owned horses and introduced her to the hobby.

“Within four years, I was riding on my own alone in the woods,” Lienhard said. And to this day she is still riding horses even though she is currently staying here in Omaha. Through a friend, Lienhard’s host parents learned of an older woman who has been unable to ride her horse named Sugar in over seven years. Lienhard offered to break the horse down again and work with Sugar. Now she can ride her again after working with her and goes frequently to the

barn where she is stabled. “I rode horses in Germany every day, and that is nothing I want to miss,” she said. Overall, the reason why Lienhard said she enjoys this hobby so much is because she loves the horses themselves, not just riding them. “It’s relaxing,” she said. “I love the nature of the horse. Horses are amazing animals. Once you earn its respect, it will do anything for you,” Lienhard said. Even though Lienhard still rides horses

here, it’s a bit different than what she was doing in Germany. “I’m normally riding English,” she said. “Here I started Western riding so it’s a huge difference.” Lienhard said she misses the horse she rode back home in Germany but is also enjoying her time in America and enjoying riding here. She also has plans in the future to continue riding horses.

Finals season tests students’ stress management skills Maddie Rynes Staff Reporter With the dreaded ‘finals season’ coming to a close, many students face immense relief of stress. Finals can make or break your grades; they can be the deciding factor of if you pass or fail. What many adults don’t understand is that stress has discouraged teenagers to the point of selfdestruction. Teenagers are facing pressure like never before and struggle to find a balance between activities, school, family, jobs, and social lives. Finals season can amplify stress levels for countless students, as well as the unhealthy habits that come with it. The term ‘finals season’ refers to the few days before the end of the semester when students take their last exams for their classes. Students who are failing or have a borderline grade need to do well on the final exam to boost their grade to where they want it to be. This may induce more stress than what is generally endured in the school year. According to a American Psychological Association 2013 survey, 83% of teens say school is “a significant source of stress.” Based on a 10-point scale, students rating their stress reported a 5.8 during the school year versus 3.9 when not in school. “I think stress affects individuals in different situations,” Assistant Principal Kip Colony said. He explained that students may be placing additional stress on themselves due to their goals and aspirations, not necessarily being pressured by teachers and their school work. When coping with stress, he says that while getting involved can be important, activities can be a two-fold situation. Depending on the person and their schedule, those added activities can cause additional pressure. After asking multiple students about how school causes them stress, answers varied, but for the most part it was unanimous. The common trend is that students in our school are not only suffering from stress, but some are having difficulty taking care of themselves due to lack of time, sleep, and motivation. Around finals season, students may have elevated levels of stress. According to ChildLine’s “Under Pressure” article, school and education problems were amongst the top ten concerns and had a 200% increase in counseling

sessions when discussing exam stress. In 16-18 year olds, school and education problems received a 30% increase, and teens reported facing more pressure and needing extra support in the days before and during their exams. “Stress makes finals nearly pointless,” Student Adrienne Bruner said. “When you’re under that much stress, it makes it impossible to display how much you know and there are a lot of really smart kids who don’t test well and vice versa. They need to find a way for students to show what they know without the stress.” Principals and teachers have noticed that school causes stress for students, but think that other factors play into it. “There’s all kinds of different stress. Certain students’ stress is brought upon by perfectly good circumstances but because of the things they’re involved in, they get stress from being productive. Difficult classes and homework causes stress. It’s stress for a good reason, but you still have to manage it,” Assistant Principal Andrew Pinkall said. “Then there’s a different type of stress caused by negative things such as parents divorce, drug or alcohol use, negative relationship issues with a boyfriend or girlfriend, peer issues, legal troubles and more. We see those at school, too. Teenagers- all of them have stress going on, it’s just a matter of what’s their stress.” While adults can acknowledge teenagers’ stress, they may not always fully realize the immense pressure various students feel. Teachers and parents can become more aware to their child/student’s stress and assist them to get their potential goals achieved. Throughout the school year, students should find the time to relax and relieve their stress. Principals have recommended exercise, music, expressive activities such as sports and art, spending time with pets, and others. If you are feeling overwhelmed and would like a support system, talk to a trusted adult like a parent, school counselor, or therapist. Finals season stress is manageable once you acknowledge that you/your student has it. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and managing stress can make all the difference when students are marking A or B.

Stress Management Tips for the holiday season...

Play with a pet or teach them a new trick Bake cookies or other goodies Take a warm shower/bath Go shopping(TREAT YO SELF) Make a cup of hot cocoa, tea or a milkshake Go for a walk in the snow Listen to either upbeat or relaxing music Build a pillow fort Watch your favorite movies or t.v. shows Sing or dance Call or text and old friend Draw/color on paper or in coloring books Perfrom a random act of kindness Sort through photographs Declutter your phone Take a nap(only if you’re tired) Organize your desk, folders, or room Go to lunch with a friend or family member


Features 12 • 16 • 2016

She is small, but mighty

Cancer survivor granted trip to Italy Ryan Carter Opinions Editor

Though she may be small, she is mighty. This phrase couldn’t relate to anyone more than Rebeca GarciaTapia. Towards the end of her sophomore year, Garcia-Tapia was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer. Through multiple surgeries, three rounds of chemotherapy and prayers, she was finally declared cancer free on Oct. 14. But that’s not the end of her story. Through the Make a Wish Foundation, Rebeca was awarded with Receca Garcia-Tapia receives gifts from Millard South Student Council friends a trip to Italy. sophomore Lindsey Assman and junior Tori Pedersen after Garcia-Tapia had her The Make A Wish Make-A-Wish granted at the State Student Council Convention in November. Photo Foundation is a charity courtesy of Kyrie Nehls that grants wishes to almost felt as if there was no time to process the severkids with a life threatening disease. Any kid who goes ity of what I was going through. It’s unfair, really, but I through chemotherapy is automatically brought to had amazing support and care from my family, nurses the Make A Wish Foundation where they make three and friends,” Garcia-Tapia says. wishes and they’re surprised with one of them. No matter how much pain she was in, Garcia Garcia-Tapia found out about her award at a state Tapia kept her head up and fought until she reached convention for student council. She was brought up the end of the battle. She was still just a teenager - the stage with hundreds of smiling faces all looking up at only difference was that she had a small bump in the her. road. “While you’re “I’m extremely grateful, but I’m not sure that I up on stage, you finally would consider myself a hero yet. Once I put myself smile and feel overout there to help other kids with cancer, I will be a whelming happiness for hero. I want to raise awareness,” she said. the first time in a long But how can you raise awareness for childhood time,” she says. cancer? Volunteer at hospitals. The children love to be Garcia-Tapia read to and the girls love to have their nails painted. first noticed the signs It tends to be cold at hospitals so making blankets or by sharp pains whendonating warm clothes is extremely appreciated. ever she stood up. She “Being a survivor means using your past experithought of it as nothing ences to help others. A part of it is also being able to until her family sent her understand the other kids who are still struggling to the doctor. It didn’t because you’ve been there,” she says. Rebeca Garcia-Tapia take the doctor long to There’s a reason for everything and it’s a matter of diagnose her with cancer. This was a shock to her finding the good coming out of the bad. Garcia-Tapia family since there had been no signs of cancer in their will be in Italy in June for 1-2 weeks seeing cities like family. She was the first to experience it. Rome and Venice. She said she is also ecstatic to see “I cried a lot. I’m a very positive person, but when the famous Colosseum and Mediterranean Sea. This something like this happens, it just hits you. It all hapnext journey will most definitely be a more positive pened so quickly and nobody wanted to believe it. It one.

New teacher loves the variety of FCS topics Conlan Custard Staff Reporter

Finding your own avenue of interest in life can be a very long and difficult journey full of hard thinking and tough decisions. For many, it takes years to look inside themselves and discover their true niche. Not so, however for new Everyday Living teacher Shelby Bruscher. It came almost instantaneously to her exactly which one of her interests she wanted to turn into a career after a high school experience full of many family consumer science classes all with great teachers. Coming to Nebraska from a close family in Iowa after an opportunity for education at Wayne State College, she was extremely exited to have heard about an opening for a position at Millard South to begin the first year of her teaching career. Having grown up in a high school atmosphere far different than what we have here at Millard South didn’t stop her from pursuing her passion and jumping at the first opportunity to teach, no matter how big the school. “I’ve just always wanted to teach in the family consumer science area, to hopefully give students some of the joy that I felt when I was learning those things, and to help them find that interest or that passion in their lives,” recalls Bruscher. Family and Consumer There are many branches Science Teacher Shelby Bruscher enveloped into “family consumer science,” and Bruscher was more than happy to fill in at the Everyday Living spot. “I really enjoy the variety of topics that comes with teaching Everyday Living,” said Bruscher. “In my class I get to cover so many different things and I like that a lot compared to a class that sticks with one thing for a whole semester.” Being a teacher, or any adult influence on the next generation comes with the tall order of trying to create a more cosmopolitan population going forward. “I think family consumer sciences are very important in education systems,” said Bruscher. “Having them be electives most of the time I think helps because there is a lot more creativity involved as opposed to some core classes where everything has to be done a certain way. I think that helps a lot in students being able to grow as individuals in that regard.” While emulating her former family consumer science teacher and role model in high school wont be easy, Bruscher is up to the task she says. And whether she’s camping in South Dakota, or spending time with loved ones as she often does, her message to all students rings true. “You have to find your true interest and passion in something that is right for you and to find the career that holds the best in store for you.”

Launch trains next generation of world changers Ellie Dean Audio/Visual Editor Leadership activities, meeting students from all around America, and developing yourself as a leader are all included at a Launch Leadership service. For more than 50 years Launch Leadership is an allvolunteer organization that provides leadership training and development for middle school and high school students. Launch has been empowering young leaders that build better schools and communities. Everything they do is focused on helping students find out who they are and how they lead. They then challenge everyone to think about how they can apply what they’ve learned to the real world. The result is a community infused with thousands of motivated, focused, ambitious young leaders. Launch facilitates various services including Summer Leadership Workshop, One-Day Workshops, and Leadership Retreats. Over 500 students including many Millard South students and students from other schools around the whole United States come together for this organization. At these retreats Launch staff will be leading co-op (also known as a small group) of delegates (also known as a student) in discussions and in small group activities. During the duration of these co-ops you get to know the fellow students that are also in

this co-op with you. Those people will then be your lifelong friends let me tell ya. The Summer Leadership Workshop is the most attended service out of the three. This workshop is held at Wayne State College in June and July and dates vary. At this workshop you get paired into a co-op of 8-14 people from other schools across Nebraska/other states. During Workshop you do so many activities with and without your co-op. Everyday Launch starts off the morning with a 30 minute dance to make sure you are awake for the day. Launch calls this Morning Jam. “It’s a time in your day where you can let loose, see all of your friends, and sing classic songs,” senior Julia Hakes said. One of everyone’s favorite activities is called “Boundary Breaking.” During this activity you sit in a circle and the co-op leaders ask questions that can be really easy or it could be really deep questions so the co-op you’re in has a chance to get to know who you really are. Another activity you do is called the “Olympics.” This group activity has you working with your co-op to compete against other co-ops in small events such as solving a puzzle, blowing a ball only with air from a balloon, etc. The winner of the Olympics then receives medals at the Danquet, which is a dance/banquet. On the last night at Workshop you and your co-op get together and get all dressed up to

eat dinner and see what awards will be received by Launch staff and by Launch delegates. Then after the dinner and award portion of the night you go back to your room and change into comfier clothes and then you go to the dance in the courtyard. On the last day you and your co-op are like a family. Which is strange because you just met these people at least 4 days prior. During the closing session they play a slideshow of the entire week and it makes people really Senior Alyssa Beeson dances to Single Ladies by Beyonce sad they have to leave, and with junior Fatwa Luka during Morning Jam at the summer then each delegate travels workshop in Wayne. Photo by Abby Garden. home. People come home me to not talk about Launch for a couple of from Launch Leadership as a completely hours. If delegates just can’t get enough of different person. Launch and they are a senior they are able “Launch Leadership made me the to apply to be a staffer. You do not have to person I am today and I am excited to be have attended a Launch event to join Staff. a staffer and impact students lives the way You do need to have a passion for youth other staffers impacted mine,” senior Alyssa leadership. At Millard South we have five Beeson said. seniors who are now Launch staffers. Those You can ask any delegates parents, the seniors are Alyssa Beeson, Ellie Dean, Meweek after workshop the delegate will not gan Foley, Julia Hakes, and Megan Henderstop talking about it. My sister had to pay son.


Features 12• 16 • 2016

Alum returns from six month mission in Africa Rebecca Harvie Staff Reporter What are you going to do after high school? Many students would say college but there was one whose answer was different and would surprise you. On Dec. 4, Millard South class of 2015 graduate Dan Reno returned from a 6 month discipleship training school or DTS. He went to the countries of South Africa and Namibia with a group called Youth With A Mission leaving Omaha on June 19 with no plans on returning before the 4th. It was a life changing experience for Reno and he came back ready to share his experiences. In the YWAM program there are 192 bases and you can choose one of them. The first three months is lecture phase where you can learn about God, his character, and

Dan Reno hugs his mom right after landing in Omaha from his 6 month stay in South Africa and Namibia. Photo by Rebecca Harvie

who you are in him. The next 3 months are outreach. So it is basically a mission trip that lasts for half a year. Yet the question remains why would you choose to go on a DTS when you could get started with college? Reno said that he felt no peace with college and that he felt God tell him that he had more planned than just college. Of the 192 bases, Reno settled on Muizenberg, South Africa. “I always wanted to go to Africa. A lot of people have amazing stories on how they chose and I just typed into google YWAM bases in Africa and it was the first one.”

While Reno was on DTS he had a team of 15 during lecture phase and 13 of the same teammate during outreach in the country of Namibia. This team consisted of people from nine different countries. They were called a miracle team with their unity for all of the six months. Yet, while the team was practically perfect, that did not mean that the trip was easy. The most difficult part for Reno was how tiring it was. Not surprising since they did everything possible to show God’s love. They performed songs, skits, and dramas for kids. They helped at a number of places including a soup kitchen, a township (ghetto), a number of churches, a rehab center, and a hospital, just to name a few. While much of it was hard and tiring it was worth it. Reno had a number of experiences that will follow him for the rest of his life. One of his favorite parts was performing for the kids. He said that he got a chance to minister to about 2,000 kids through poetry throughout this whole trip. While in Keetmanshoop, Namibia, he got the chance to join in making war against the enemy. There were drums, songs, and dance all full of passion and determination. This instance was intense but the trip also had a few funny mo- Dan Reno hugs his dad right after landing in Omaha after a YWAM DTS. Photo by Rebecca Harvie ments. One such moment was when he got the opin physical contact much more than Americans would feel portunity to meet some people that you would not comfortable with. Reno may have struggled with those, but expect. It was 10 p.m. at port Elizabeth, South Africa, one thing that he loved was the sayings and ever since he when Reno felt hungry and decided to go to McDonalds got back you could hear him constantly using them. One with a few friends to get a McFlurry. When they got to tradition that he wished to bring with him is the commuMcDonalds there was a line of about 100 high school nity. In South Africa they are not individualistic and they students speaking Spanish. These students were Argentinwould check up on you and make sure that you are all right. ians on holiday who just happen to choose South Africa as Overall Reno found this experience one that he would their vacation spot this year. So he got the opportunity to do again if the Lord led him and definitely one that he use some of his Spanish that he learned at Millard South in would recommend. Africa. “If you are going in after high school and if you invest It is clear to see that Reno had a life changing yourself, then it is worth it,” Reno said. “Normal college experience. He got to see and do things that are not a part teaches you knowledge but this teaches you who you are. It of our norm. Reno said that what he missed most about gives you a purpose.” American culture was the food and just the ability to know the culture. A harder cultural lesson that he had to learn was sharing food. Most of the time they would ask but not all the time, so he had to get use to others picking food off his plate. They were also a lot more hands on and would be

Art club members join in on the holiday spirit Isabel Kimminau Staff Reporter

When you think of channeling the holiday spirit, the art club may not be the first activity or group to come to mind. Contrary to

this, the Millard South art club has been prepping for the holidays nevertheless. Through inventive devices they have found their own creative way of expressing their excitement for the oncoming holidays this month. These students have both created and decorated their own ornaments. Even when you don’t celebrate Christmas, creating ornaments can be an enjoyable time. The students were encouraged to, if they don’t celebrate Christmas, create a type of ornament that expressed something they enjoyed or would want as a gift. The club has done other holiday oriented projects, even collaborating with other clubs such as the Spanish club for Dia de los Muertos and hopefully in the future with the environmental club for a collaborative project involving Earth day. The group meets once a month and is comprised of typically about 15 students, Art club member junior Haileigh Hall puts the finishing touches on her gingerbread ornament she made. which is an impressive Photo by Isabel Kimminau

expansion on the group as opposed to a few years ago when it had approximately eight or less students. They are open to anyone who wants to join and anyone may join at any time, as they are a completely open club. Not only is it completely open, it is a primarily student driven as the sponsor, Susan Wilde, believes that the students should have more free form of expression as the club is formed and to a degree, run by the students. They have a say in the projects that they do, as they take a survey at the beginning of the year to determine which projects most kids would be interested in doing. This way the students involved can express themselves in a way that they can’t in the classroom or in a completely new way altogether, which is more or less the goal of the club, as well as to gain artistic experience and improve each person’s overall capabilities. The club doesn’t just do a variety of projects, but they use a variety of medias too. From pottery and paints, to the more recognizable pencil and paper, the students have expressed an interest in doing it all. They even painted the mural outside the art room as a reproduction of a piece that really inspired them. If you are ever in search of a way for you to express yourself in a new way, in a very free and expressive club, taking a look into art club may be the right choice for you. They do a variety of projects that change every year and are always seeking new members.


Opinion 12 • 16 • 2016

Staff editorial MPS reaches educational milestone

art by Tori Barkus

As most students are now aware, each high school student in the Millard Public Schools district will be provided with their own personal laptop computer in January of 2017. This is a remarkable achievement. The movement to make education more technologically-oriented has been a step-by-step process that Millard been implementing throughout many years. During the 2015-16 school year, Millard Public Schools introduced Google Apps For Education (GAFE), which assigned each student a Gmail account and provided them with the full usage of Google’s applications and services (Classroom, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Drive, Drawing, etc.), and taught the students and staff how to use it. This school year, most printers have been removed from classrooms, offices, labs, etc., and have been replaced with seven printing kiosks throughout the school. Teachers have also gone through numerous professional development courses that are focused on technology and have been encouraged to consider how they could make their classes more technologically-based. The final step of the process is handing every student their laptop. The Common Sense Staff eagerly awaits the positive effects of this historic educational milestone.

School is harder than ever

Modern Protests are Slacktivism

Trump Protestors don’t do all that much “Not my president.” “Dump Trump.” just shouting the typical words that I see “Love trumps hate.” These sound familiar, every day on the internet. right? All over social media since Nov. 9, Over time, people started becompeople haven’t stopped talking about the ing extremely violent. Seven people were victory of Donald Trump’s presidential arrested during the event. People started campaign. As a result of this, people all shouting “kill the police” and throwing over the country have started protests rocks at police cars. Some people were ingoing against Trump’s victory. All of this is jured, but not too severely. A person even really just an act of slacktivism. held up a sign saying “Screw all straight I’m not here to state my political white cis-males,” which is an extreme views. I’m here to state that these prostatement of hypocrisy since love suppostests simply don’t do as much as we think edly trumps hate. In other protests around they do. We go out holding up signs and the United States, people have held up scream the generic “Trump is racist, signs saying “Rape Melania”. A couple of misogynist and sexist” anti-Trump proteschants. What do you tors were found pullthink the government is ing a random man going to do? Give it to out of his car and Hillary, Bernie or Gary? beating him sensePat you on the back and less simply because say “Good job”? Call he voted for Trump. you a hero? Chances are But love trumps that they won’t. hate, right? It’s clearly known Seriously, a big that in America we have handful of them are the right of freedom hypocrites. of speech. It’s the first Don’t get me amendment. However, wrong when I say protests all over AmerTrump wouldn’t be ica have become scary my first choice for and in some instances, president either, Ryan Carter violent and unsafe for all but when it comes kinds of people. down to what media While I was in and protests have to Indianapolis a month ago, I had the opsay about his presidency, tell me someportunity to experience a Trump protest. thing I don’t know. I mean, c’mon people. I did not go to support it or go against it. There are far more reasons to not like him I simply went to experience it for myself. besides the whole “he’s a racist and sexist Seeing it in person compared to seeing a man?” video on twitter are two completely differ- If you really want to make a different experiences. I proved myself right by ence in how the world is once Trump seeing that people, once again, were being becomes president, be the best person you slacktivists. The protest took place in can be as an individual. Spread love as an front of the capitol building. People were individual and learn more every day about swarming in like bees seeing honey. At the world around you. first, everything was peaceful. People were

Common Sense

Common Sense is the official publication of Millard South High School 14905 Q Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68137. School district guidelines determine the suitability of advertising content. To place an ad or inquire about rates, call (402)-715-8363. Common Sense is a monthly publication produced in Room 130. Common Sense uses desktop publishing hardware and software: Apple 5G computers, Adobe InDesign CS6 Adobe Photoshop CS6, and Microsoft Word software. Printing by White Wolf Web in Sheldon, Iowa. Letters to the editor are encouraged. All letters must be signed with the student’s first and last name, grade, then submitted to Mrs. Kaldahl. Unsigned letters will not be published. The staff reserves the right to edit letters for grammar, length, and clarity. Letters of profane nature or other infractions of school or district policy will not be published.

Albert Einstein once said, “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” one day I was really frustrated with school and was thinking, why are we expected to do such advanced things at such a young age? Why do we need to know that y=mx+b when we’re fourteen? Modern day schooling is way more advanced today than it ever has been, but over a century nothing has really changed with our way of teaching and learning. Of course you can count the technology boom that we have, but the curriculum hasn’t changed; it’s only gotten harder for younger people. When I was in kindergarten you had to know how to spell your name and know the alphabet. Now you have to go to kindergarten knowing how to read and write. Kinds don’t have to have it perfect, but they have to have some idea of what it is. I watched a video called “I SUED THE SCHOOL SYSTEM” and in that video the narrator Prince Ea explains differences from now and 150 years ago. He shows a phone, a car, and a classroom. Both the phone and car have changed dramatically, and the classroom has basically stayed the same. He talks about how that everybody has different learning abilities, but the school system has an expectation that students must meet the requirements of the school district and if not they take the class again or be put in a lower level group. When teenage students feel pressured not only by the school and grades but by their parents it makes then not motivated to do anything. So many things are being put in their hands and they have to accomplish it perfectly or they feel like a failure. Students spend six to eight hours a day being told to do something this way. We barely have a break for lunch to socialize with our friends. Some kids barely have time to do their homework, and they could have loads to do, but they just can’t do it because of other things outside of school. School just takes up a lot of your time when you’re

Editor-in-Chief Alyssa Soppe

Lifestyles Editor John Reel

Photo Chief McKenna Krueger

Entertainment Editor RuthAnne Hale

Production Editor Jordyn Kelley News Editor Vanessa Chavez Sports Editor Kailey Boden Features Editor Adrienne Bruner Opinions Editor Ryan Carter

Business Manager Sam Sliva Social Media Manager Sarah Braley Graphic Artist AJ Bierwirth Cartoonist Tori Barkus

Sarah Braley just a kid. People say that you need social skills even out of school, but our teachers aren’t even giving us enough time to socialize with our families because our homework can take up hours of our time. I know I barely see my parents because I’m stuck in my room trying to figure out how to balance these equations, and know that the plague was a bad thing that happened in history. I like to talk, I like to go out and meet new people, but I can’t do that if I’m so worried about having perfect grades so that I can maybe one day get a scholarship to go to college. I’m sure you’ve heard of Finland and how they have short days and no homework. It’s all true and they have one of the highest scoring school systems in the world. Their teachers are respected just like doctors and they have two hours out of the week to further their education to be a better teacher. Comparatively, U.S. teachers are paid very little and it just feels like another person telling us what to do. Finland’s students only have one standardized test when they’re in school and that’s at age sixteen. In America, we’ve so much to change about our educational system. I believe it’s possible to start changing our school system, because our generation has already changed so many things and made things more acceptable.

Staff Secretaries Miriam Cortes Kathryn Willenborg Audio/Visual Editor Ellie Dean Distribution Editor Jessica Malashock Copy Editor Emma Martin Staff Reporters Tori Barkus Hailey Boden Madi Bullard Carina Covington Conlan Custard Cam Filleman

Parker Geiss Rebecca Harvie Kristin Kaipust Savannah Lacy Jessica Lukecart Sarah Braley Isabel Kimminau Eric Murcek Maddie Rynes Adviser Christine Kaldahl


Talk to me

Features 12 • 16• 2016

Forensics team breaks into victories Adrienne Bruner Features Editor Sophomore Emma Willenborg sat with her team in the audience while the Millard North forensics team handed out awards for each event. Nearly all competitors were clad in blazers and sport coats, waiting in the hopes of hearing their name. There was a single clap for each winner and a standing ovation for the first place. When it was time for Persuasive, she was surprised to hear her name called to the stage. She won sixth place at the Millard North Novice Tournament, one of her first times performing her speech in a competition. “Forensics is a good class to take because it not only teaches you responsibility but also time management and realizing what your limits are. I’ve learned how to push myself to get things done,” Willenborg said. Millard South offers a number of communications and public speaking classes. Every student is required to take one before they can graduate. While many incoming freshman take speech class, some decide on debate or forensics. This was the case for many freshman of the class of 2020. However, there are many returning members as well. The forensics class offers a lot in terms of public speaking and communication, as well as representing the Patriots and getting involved. So far, this year has gone well for the novice and varsity teams and their new coach, Rebecca Johnson. Everyone works together on the team, despite the fact that

they often compete alone. “I would say so far this has been a good year. We have had someone break at every tournament so far and that’s great for the team. There’s definitely potential in our team for the people who are trying. But there’s those few who aren’t doing anything and make me want to scream,” Forensics Officer Caitlyn Finnerty said. Like most required classes, there are some people who are not committed; they take the class simply because they have to. However, this has not stopped the rest of the team from doing their best. Someone has won or “broke” (made it to finals) in every competition so far. Students are now working on preparing their second events as assignments. Students like Varsity member senior John Brock performs his poetry piece at a varsity competition. Brock’s theme have been working on as many as is about last chances in life. Photo by McKenna Krueger three or four events in their free time, prepare and has plenty of advice about some awesome upperclassmen that joined on top of perfecting their first events. public speaking. the club/class for the first time! Also, I am “To help the team prepare I really try “Being a new head coach is wonderthe [only] coach this year.,” Johnson said. to get on top of everyone and push them ful and terrifying all at the same time. I Despite the differences in age and exto get their stuff done. We also come up am used to helping students practice all perience, the forensics team has only gotten with really fun warm ups and stuff to make closer through spending time competing people less nervous at tournaments to make the time but the head coach paperwork is crazy, ” Johnson said. and practicing together. Throughout the them a little less stressful and more fun. We Unlike speech and debate, forensics year, they do “team bonding” activities. At also help coach students in their events and class offers numerous types of public speak- the beginning of the school year, they had help in any way we can,” Finnerty said. ing and communications. Humorous and a bonding day at the school. They shared This year is coach Johnson’s first year serious prose involve acting skills, while things about themselves and even had a lip as a forensics teacher, although this is not original oratory consists of being able to not syncing battle. There was also a trip to Vala’s her first year teaching. She has had previous only perform but prepare an original piece. in October. All of these activities are schedexperience an English teacher and a speech “Team members will research their uled by Coach Johnson and the officers in teacher. She knows how to help students topic: either a public address piece that they order to bring the team together. write themselves, like a five para “In the beginning of the year it was graph essay, or find a story or play awkward talking to the team, but once I got they would like to reenact. They will to know them it was almost like a second then write their piece or arrange the family. I have made extremely close friends story so that it fits in a ten minute in the class and I love talking to a few of window. From there, students will them outside of school,” Willenborg said. memorize all the words and per A lot of the people who take forensics form their script. They practice the take with them valuable lessons that change skills of public speaking such as vol- their everyday life. Besides learning public ume, rate, enunciation, eye contact, speaking skills, students learn responsibility, and body movement,” Johnson said. leadership and social skills. Each year, the team is made up “Forensics has taught me a lot of the of both incoming novices, usually leadership skills I have and a lot of social freshman, and returning members. skills. Being an officer has taught me a lot Many of the varsity members have about being a leader and leading a group to been working together for three or a common goal. Also, this being a speech four years. Nonetheless, they are class, it’s helped me with social skills bestill welcoming to incoming novices cause it has gotten me out of my little box and always ready to help. because, believe it or not, I used to be super “The team this year is a mixture shy. But after being in this club I have no of experience and age. Typically problem talking to people and holding a all novices are freshmen but I have conversation,” Finnerty said.

Above. Varsity member Senior Meagan Stimach hangs a banner with the names of students who broke into finals at Millard South Squashfest. Squashfest is a competition hosted by Millard South every year. Photo by McKenna Krueger Right. Varsity member Miranda Niemeier performs an original oratory discussing why the American education system should offer American Sign Language as a language class. Photo by McKenna Krueger

Far right. Isaiah Petiphait practices his humorous prose before competing. This year he chose to perform an interpretation if The Lego Movie. Photo by McKenna Krueger

Features 12 • 16 • 2016


Freshmen take the lead and learn the ropes in first ever ninth grade play productions Miriam Cortes Staff Secretary

Millard South Drama is performing for the first time, two freshman shows on Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. “This is a Test” is a nod to the pressures of taking a huge exam like the ACT, where as “Take 5” is about a show within a show that goes terribly wrong. The show, unlike the other main stage shows has a 15 minute intermission and is serving GiGi’s cupcakes that goes along with the cake and comedy interactive experience of the show. The freshman show is an opportunity for freshmen to get a small taste of the what a big main stage show is like. All the freshmen are mentored by Patriot Players, which consists of the Varsity Drama team that had auditions at the end of last year and competes at state in Technical and Improv Theatre. The entire show is built and designed by the freshmen but are mentored throughout the process. The show is directed by Patriot Players, Miriam Cortes and Raimy Washington. “Directing the freshman show is a huge challenge because they are super passionate about drama that it’s hard to get all of their ideas into a show,” Washington said. Things like costume, lights, sound, set design and building are a huge challenge for incoming students without having past experience. Although the most students that get involved in high school drama were previto Right: Freshmen Grace Danielson, Isabella Brown and Gabrielle Washington make semaphore flags for the play. ously involved in middle school drama, the Left Photo by Savannah Lacy transition can be hard for students to pick up quickly. “Millard South has complex shows and there is a big jump here, that is closer to college shows,” freshman Emily Liard said. Millard South Drama has a huge reputation for putting on huge elaborate main stage shows in a small amount of time that sometimes seems impossible for a high school production. Since middle school shows usually are at a much smaller scale, it can become easily overwhelming to be a part of a show at a much bigger scale. Once the show performs they are more experienced to perform and run a main stage show. Dustin Anderson and Gabrielle Washington round up the props for the upcoming freshman Freshman Alexis Meyer checks the sound. Photo by Savannah plays. “This is a Test” and “Take Five” are the names of the plays. Photo by Savannah Lacy


Varsity choir continues tradition of alumni taking the stage

Choir Director Jason Stevens welcomes alumni as they join the varsity choir in singing Psallite by Michael Praetorius at their seadonal concert Dec. 8. This is also the first year of the choir having new robes, which were replaced after more than 15 years of use. Photo by McKenna Krueger


Sports 12 • 16 • 2016

Lady Patriot team jumpshots for state title Kailey Boden Sports Editor All eyes are upon Millard South girls bas ketball as the season kicks off. The rankings came out Dec 1, showcasing Millard South on top at #1. But any team or coach knows that this means next to nothing as any team could win on any given day. Being a front-runner ensures that coaches and players from other teams will be circling them, and you can guarantee that every team will be giving us their best shot. Knowing this, you can expect the Patriots to do the same, every minute of every game. Being number one in the state is quite a huge accomplishment for the players and coaches Bryce Meyers and Zach Isherwood. They came into the program only 4 short years ago, transforming Millard South girls varsity basketball from the team at the bottom of the metro in the 2013-2014 season to number one team in the state this 2016-2017 season. The Patriots have started the season off strong, winning the My goal is to make it farther first two than we did lat year at state games by and hopefully win the whole quite a thing. large mar–Lauren Sanders gin. They senior defeated Omaha Benson High School 71-41 and took home a 49-point victory with a final score of 71-22 against Omaha South High School, winning the OPS tournament. This year, it shows that the girls team has all the key components to make our goal of taking home a state title. This starts with the players. This year the team has three senior returning starters. Lauren Sanders, Grace Rasmussen and Haley Koetje have been a part of the varsity team since their freshman year. All three senior starters are most looking forward to state. “My goal is to make it farther than we did last year at state and hopefully win the whole thing,” says Sanders. “It makes me excited to see the four years of hard work finally pay off.” The Patriots made it to the semi-finals in the state tournament last year, losing to the 2016 state champs, Lincoln East High School in double overtime. As the girls team has gone through that devastating loss and grown into the #1 team they are today, they have only gotten stronger. “We’ve become closer and more of a family and because of that we have set the same goals to work towards,” says Koetje. “This makes it easier for us to push each other to practice our hardest and give it everything we have.” Senior guard Grace Rasmussen had the same views as Sanders and Koetje. “Our ultimate goal is to win state but also just to have fun,” says Rasmussen. “I like being around all the girls so it’s easy to have fun while doing what we love and watching our hard work pay off when districts and state time comes.” Many of our players are going on to do great things.

Sports 12 • 16 • 2016


Patriots rebound to focus on victory Meet your Patriot starters

Drew Gilin Shooting Guard

Kyle Perry handles pressure during s pregame practice. Photo by McKenna Krueger. Kyle Perry Point Guard

The Patriots run through their press during a pregame practice to prepare for their game against Omaha Northwest High School. Photo by McKenna Krueger

Seniors Hailey and Kailey Boden are going on to attend NAIA Division I Graceland University on a scholarship to play basketball and senior Lauren Sanders will be attending Division II University of Sioux Falls to also further her education and basketball career. “I’m mostly looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life and meeting new players,” says Sanders. Freshman Maddie Krull also already has her eyes set on the prize in furthering her basketball career at the collegiate level. Krull has already received one full ride scholarship to play basketball at UNO. “Getting Division I recognition has been insane! It’s crazy how young they start to look at you as a player,” says Krull, “I couldn’t be more honored.” Maddie is also Millard South’s only freshman starter this season and for her, it’s been a dream come true.

Meet your Lady Patriot starters

Grace Rasmussen Point Guard, Shooting Guard

Haley Koetje Point Guard, Shooting Guard

Maddie Krull Point Guard

Rylie Pauli Center

Lauren Sanders Point Guard, Shooting Guard

“It’s honestly one of the coolest feelings in the world, along with very nerve wracking. You’re playing with and against players who have more high school basketball experience which is a little intimidating,” says Krull, “But once I get out there I remember I have every right as they do to be out on that court.” Omaha North transfer A’tiana Jones has also been a key contributor so far this season, and it helps that her transition has been a smooth one. “Being a transfer hasn’t been hard at all,” says Jones, “I fit right in and it’s almost as if I’ve been here from the beginning.” Jones chose to transfer in best interests of succeeding further on the court and in the classroom, and she has definitely made the right choice. “Millard South basketball is way different from Omaha North,” says Jones. “I don’t have to do everything by myself when I’m at Millard South because we play together as a team and for each other instead of for ourselves. We don’t argue when someone makes a mistake.” Millard South has had quite a strong start, going 4-0, all with large margins of victory. Their biggest victory up to date was against number three ranked Omaha Northwest High School in a 19-point win (59-40). To top it off, the Patriots will be adding yet another dominant player in January. Jayme Horan, a strong inside player who can also handle the ball, is expected to return towards the beginning of January from a knee injury. Jayme tore her ACL playing summer basketball but is undergoing a strong recovery process. “Battling this injury has been quite the difficult journey because of missing the sport I love but I wouldn’t be where I am today without all the support from the people in my life,” says Horan, “now I just can’t wait for the day that I can step out on that court wearing number 12 again.” There are many things that Horan says she looks forward to playing the sport she loves with her amazing teammates upon her return but the one she looks forward to the most is “having that medal placed around every one of my teammates’ necks after we win state this season.”

Logan Smith Power Forward

Zach Arends Shooting Guard

Jaxon Harre Shooting Guard

Hailey Boden Staff Reporter The 2016-17 boys basketball team started its season with a close and exciting win over Omaha Benson High School. The boys are looking forward to the games they have ahead and are willing to put in the work at practice in order to achieve the result they want come the end of the season. Great things are in store this year for the team as they continue to work hard every day. “We put in a lot of time into practice,” junior Armon Burns said. “Sometimes we start bad, but we always finish well,” he said. As any team does, this one has its sights set out for victory over certain teams. “We really want to beat Omaha South and Creighton Prep,” Burns said. With one difficult loss to the 2016 state

Hoops for Hope unites rivals in a fight for the cure

Kailey Boden Sports Editor The annual Hoops for Hope game is an important annual basketball event for something beyond just the game and the players on the court. On this day, it’s about the fight for a cure. This game shows that rival schools cheering for separate teams on the court can still come together and unite in the fight against cancer, in the motto “no one fights alone.” The Hoops for Hope game will be Dec. 17t at Millard South, as both girls and boys varsity plays Millard West. The girls game tips off at 5:30 p.m. and the boys game follows directly after at 7:15. Hoops for Hope is a basketball game in which the schools that participate give their school an option in buying a t-shirt to support the American Cancer Society when attending a game to cheer on their school. There are 16 different shirts, each a different color. Each color We don’t know how strong we represents are until being strong is the a different only choice we have. cancer (shown –Bob Marley in the graphic) and students who buy a shirt can decide which cancer they want to “represent” and wear at the game. The proceeds that Millard South and Millard West got from students buying these shirts go directly to the American Cancer Society. The Millard South and Millard West players will also be wearing a color shirt, representing a cancer, in the warm-ups before the game.

Dylan Wagner Power Forward

champions Omaha South in the OPS other. tournament, victory is still very possible “I look at them as my blood brothwith the many things that this team ers,” Apedjinou said. excels at. The boys spend a lot of time “I feel my team has many offensive together including going to pasta feeds treats,” senior O.T. Apedjinou said. hosted the night before each game. “Anyone can They also strive have a big night to bring out and go off,” he the best in each I look at them as my blood said. other whenbrothers. Also each ever possible. senior team member is “We spend OT Apendjinou fully committed time together to improve. outside of “We’ve all practice often showed a lot of and on the commitment to being at skills sessions court we push one another to be great,” to sharpen our footwork, ball hanApedjinou said. dling, post work, and fundamentals,” Every athlete can tell you that the Apedjinou said. With improvement of road to becoming state champions is themselves brings improvement of the one filled with obstacles, but with some team as a whole. hard work the boys hope to make it to This team has a strong bond and Lincoln and win it all. would do almost anything for each

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Lifestyles 12 • 16 • 2016

Students share winter style tips John Reel Lifestyles Editor

The cold temps of winter are starting to slowly creep in as the last fall leaves wilt away - in a couple weeks we might even be in the midst of a full on winter storm. The last thing you want is to come down with a case of the lazy layers, or just throwing on the heaviest clothes you see, because it’s cold or whatever. Students of Millard South, who have managed to dress for style and weather simultaneously shared where they shop for clothes, general style tips, and how they are able to dress functional and fashionable. From top to bottom: Tabitha Lincoln, Kaylee Henderson, Czamia Parker, Mia Dibble, Alex Branton. Photos by McKenna Krueger

“ I shop at Goodwill, The Flying Worm and H&M. I like layer-

ing a lot, especialy with cardigans, and I like a baggy piece of clothing with a tight-fitting piece. For all of your outfits, think of what color tones you want to use. I really like using earthy tones, but some people like using brighter colors so think about what patterns you can use with that. Try on the clothing, imagine what you can wear with it and think if you have anything like it in your closet. - Tabitha Lincoln Junior

Lifestyles 12 • 16 • 2016

Netflix holiday films a huge disappointment Emma Martin Copy Editor

” “

I shop a lot at thrift stores actually, that’s where I get a lot of my stuff. I feel like thrifting is unique. A lot of it is older things, and I like the fact that, beacuse they’re old, not a lot of people have them. I layer! I’m obsessed with layers. I put a shirt on, then a cardigan or flannel, and a coat, and scarves. Wear what makes you feel good.

- Czamia Parker Junior

- Mia Dibble Sophomore

shop at Zara and H&M. Usualy the fashions are less “ Ifeminine, and it’s usualy more chic, and they do collabo-

rations with higher fashion brands. I like dressing fluffy and warm. It’s all about the cut and keeping warm. I do follow this Korean style blogger. You better know your body type and your body figure, and you definitely have to check out your skin tones. I don’t want to take risks so I always try (clothes) on.

- Alex Branton Junior

of these movies was how cheesy they all were (which, in retrospect, I should have known from the titles alone). From the cliché storylines (elevators breaking, mistletoe everywhere, punch flying through the air to ruin a fancy party dress) to the cringe-worthy dialogue, at points it was hard to even get through each hour and a half movie. There was always something so over-the-top I actually questioned who could have ever written the script. There were tacky singing/dancing performances at high school reunions, antagonists running into props and their noses swelling up like balloons, backstabbing best friends and, of course, some sort of ‘fate’ or ‘destiny’ bringing two characters to the same place at the same time. The most disappointing part, however, was the premise of each film. In A Christmas Kiss, two strangers kiss in an elevator, and then the man doesn’t recognize her 12 hours later because she had glitter and makeup on her face. And of course she doesn’t inform him of who she is, and of course the man is actually engaged to the aforementioned girl’s evil boss, and of course they can’t

help falling in love and, after mild drama, get to live happily ever after. The idea behind Christmas Crush is that a woman working to make her way in the fashion industry (but not having much success) returns home for the holidays/her high school reunion, where she hopes to win back her high school boyfriend, assuming it will automatically make everything perfect just like back in high school. Little does she know, she was destined to be with her best friend, who it turns out was right in front of her the whole time. Go figure. Merry Kissmas was probably the most tolerable, where a fed up fiancée falls in love with a chef after her famous boyfriend doesn’t pay attention to

her and treats her more like an assistant than a significant other. Still all cringeworthy, and still all hard to get through. So during this holiday season, I suggest sticking to the classics and watching Elf or The Polar Express rather than trying out a movie on Netflix. If you do you will feel no sense of the holiday spirit or joy, you will only be vastly disappointed.

Ugly Duck proves to be anything but fowl

shop at Goodwill, the clearance section of Target, and Paper“ Idoll Vintage. I shop there, because they have clothes not ev-

erybody wears - they have unique stuff. I layer. Cardigans are my favorite, or big thick sweaters; big old lady sweaters are my go-to. It makes my inner old lady happy. I try (clothes) on and think, ‘would I wear this once, or would I wear it a lot?


you’re looking for a holiday movie to watch this time of year, don’t go searching on Netflix. The popular streaming site is known for having quality content, but saying that their holiday selection is even subpar would be overly generous. After watching the disaster that was A Christmas Kiss, I set out on a mission to watch as many Netflix Christmas movies as possible. Due to lack of time and a busy schedule, I was only able to watch three—A Christmas Kiss, Christmas Crush, and Merry Kissmas—but that was more than enough. The main thing I took away from each

“ I shop at Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe, because they

have the cutest clothes. Usually it’s weird things that catch my eye, and that’s the stuff I get - the things that most people don’t wear. I do try on my clothes, and if I don’t love it on myself, then it’s not worth it. (My clothes) are a statement of me as a person. - Kaylee Henderson Senior


John Reel Lifestyles Editor

“We’re a casual restaurant. We want people to feel comfortable - well, comfortably uncomfortable. We play rap music here,” says AJ Swanda, owner and chef of Ugly Duck. The restaurant, located at 3201 Farnam Street, opened its doors last October. After successes in temporary pop-up gigs, he has since been serving up buzz among the Omaha food scene. Swanda grew up in Benson and went to high school in Blair before going to culinary school at Metro Community College, and later transferring to the New England Culinary Institute. Since college, he has worked in some of the most prestigious restaurants in Omaha. “I was a sous chef at The Grey Plume when it first opened. I’ve worked at Dante’s, The Boiler Room, V.Mertz,” he said. His time spent working with local chefs like Paul Kulik of The Boiler Room and Le Bouillon, and Clayton Chapman of the Grey Plume were formative. These are the two men who put meat and potatoes Omaha on the foodie map. They instilled in Swanda the importance of developing strong connections with the farmers and the community where the food is grown. Swanda originally gained popularity through his pop-up restaurants. A pop-up is make-shift culinary experience that is not intended to last more than a few days or weeks. He was so successful in these efforts that he decided to build a permanent place in Midtown.

“My day typically starts around 9:30 a.m. We open up the restaurant, and I set-up my station. I have a really talented staff. They are really good at working autonomously. I gave them tasks when we first opened, and now they manage those. I try to give them all the tools necessary for them to succeed,” Swanda said. “It started out as a fun thing to do,” says Swanda. “I didn’t know it would lead anywhere, and then it gained a lot of popularity - a lot of traction.” A new food movement has been developing on the coasts for some time now. Restaurants, more and more, are tossing the white table clothes and replacing them with rustic wood and industrial themed atmospheres. The food also reflects a sort of deconstructed quality and is produced by local organic farmers. The trend connects customers to where the food comes from and those who grow it. Online magazine, Eater, located in New York, has been covering the change for some time, and now the trend is moving inland. “We’re the weirdest restaurant to open in a while. We’re this farm to table Asian thing, and if we can pull it off, and make it work, then I think that Omaha’s diners will want it and be willing to support it,” Swanda said.

Chef AJ Swanda inside Ugly Duck located at 3201 Farnam Street. Photo by John Reel


Entertainment 12 • 16 • 2016

Tori Barkus Staff Reporter

The ever so talented British girl group, Little Mix, has come out with yet another album, and it just might be there best one to date. The girls, believe it or not, started out as solo artists on the X Factor UK in 2011. They were later put into groups, the judges hoping that they’d make it farther. However, it didn’t work out, and the groups didn’t make it through the Bootcamp challenges. Two girls from each group were taken and put into a new group, just before the Live Shows began. This group was called Rhythmix. The group was made up of four girls, Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall, and Leigh-Anne Pinnock. Later on in the competition, they changed their group name from Rhythmix to Little Mix, because a UK charity had requested the girls to do so. As Little Mix, they released four albums in total. Their most recent album is titled Glory Days, released on November 18, 2016. This album is, like I said, probably one of their

RuthAnne Hale Entertainment Editor

fore she comes across Newt Scamander and gets swept up in the adventure. One of my favorite characters, however is Goldstein’s sister, Queenie Goldstein. Queenie is the most real of the characters. A free spirit, Queenie has the ability to read minds, and overflows with love and compassion. Queenie is portrayed by Alison Sudol, an Indie artist with little film experience. Despite this, she shines in this role, and brings Queenie to life on the big screen. The plot of fantastic beasts compared to the Harry Potter Movies was definitely more fit for a movie. While this is the first script JK Rowling has written from scratch, her writing is well-placed for a movie, and kept me interested. The time seemed to fly as the action unfolded. However, the biggest reveal of the movie was very predictable. I had it figured out in the first half of the movie. One of my favorite parts of the movie was the visual effects. They were so realistic, and were used perfectly so that they became a part of the movie and not the star. The use of the creatures was so grand and vibrant that movie-

best. They change up their style a lot between albums, so not every song sounds the same. It’s a great album, but I do feel like there are a few songs that remind me of previous songs, but, like anything else, that can be debateable. All 15 tracks show off the power behind each girl’s vocal abilities, ranging from the low notes to the high notes, the soft and beautiful, to the loud and the powerful. The most known track (and single) being Shout Out to My Ex, is *obviously* a breakup track, rumored to be about Perrie’s not so secret ex, Zayn Malik (yes, the ex member of One Direction… I know..). I absolutely love this album, and I absolutely love these girls. Little Mix is the embodiment of female empowerment and going and standing up for what you believe in and to me, that’s evident in their music and how they carry themselves as human beings and powerful female role models.

Cam Filleman Staff Reporter

goers are bound to get caught up in the “fantastic” magic of it all. All in all, I thought this movie was an exciting, visually superb, and filled to the brim with realistic characters and talented actors. While it had it’s flaws, it surprised me, as it was not the Harry Potter remake it could’ve easily been. Overall, it was a magical film, and I’m hoping that the next four in the series are just as “fantastic.”

Kristin Kaipust Staff Reporter

Dr. Strange transforms Marvel Cinematic Universe Parker Geiss Staff Reporter

an island feeling that fits perfectly to the movie. While there were many entertaining aspects of the movie, my all time favorite part of the movie was the relatability of Moana. Her hair is constant struggle. Whether it is in her face or soaking wet, I found myself laughing at how something like that would happen to me every other scene. It may not be Merida from Brave level, but I felt the struggle every time she threw her hair up into a messy bun or angrily wiped it from her face. Moana is also full of sass. From the moment she meets Maui, her character shows through. He does many things she doesn’t like and she lets him know, whether with a dirty look or a quick comeback. If he says something she doesn’t like, she lets him know.

art by Tori Barkus

New Pokemon Sun and Moon impresses

Moana splashes away standards for princesses Everything from the catchy songs to the true to heart characters makes the movie Moana one of my new favorite Disney movie. Up in the ranks with Tangled and possibly even The Incredibles, Moana is a movie I would watch over and over again. The main character of the movie, Moana (Auli’I Cravalho), is a 16 year-old Polynesian girl. Her father is the chief of the island, Motunui. In the beginning of movie, the father passes his leadership down to her. Moana struggles between being a good leader by following what her parents want versus voyaging into the ocean and following her heart. With subtle hints dropped by her grandmothers as well as some not so subtle hints from the ocean, yes the ocean, Moana follows her heart and voyages off past the reef, something forbidden to the Islanders. Moana’s goal is to restore the Heart of Te Fiti, a little green stone that creates life and the islands, with demigod, Maui (Dwayne Johnson). By restoring the heart and defeating Te Ka, the villain of the movie, Moana and Maui will stop Motunui, Moana’s home island, from perishing. One of the coolest parts of the movie was the personification of the ocean. Multiple times demi-god, Maui, threw Moana into the water and the ocean shoots her back up onto the deck of the ship. Also after sarcastic remarks from Maui, the ocean would often shoot water into his face. The ocean would listen to Moana and try to answer her request in whatever way was possible. Along with the ocean, I loved the music. Their catchy songs could compare to Frozen’s. The music by Lin Manuel Miranda, an award winning composer, lyricist, and performer and the writer of Hamilton’s soundtrack, is upbeat and has


New Little Mix album is ‘glorious’

Fantastic Beasts casts a spell over audiences If you’re like me, you have read all the Harry Potter books at least 5 times each, and seen the movies more times that you can count, then naturally when Fantastic Beast and where to find them was announced, you felt that you owed it to J.K. Rowling to see her new story. But however you were excited, you were expecting a carboncopy stereotypical prequel. However, Fantastic Beasts is a stand-alone masterpiece, adding a new side to the well known Harry Potter World. The movie (the first of a five-part series), directed by David Yates, who also directed the last four Harry Potter movies, takes place in 1926 New York City. It begins when Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne) arrives from England, on his way to Arizona, and through a series of humorous mishaps, ends up being pursued by the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) and the New Salem Philanthropic society, an organization that believes that witches live among ordinary people and must be exterminated. The main characters of Fantastic Beasts are unique and extremely lovable. Newt Scamander, the protagonist, is a clever but eccentric outsider who relates more to his misunderstood creatures than his fellow humans. He’s very awkward and, personally, I found that relatable. However, he is a little unexplored in this movie, and his past is a big mystery to all those around him. He meets Jacob Kowalski (Dan Folger), a non-wizard cannery worker and aspiring baker. Kowalski is well-liked to almost anyone he meets and serves as a sort of personification of the average American and the American dream. He does all he can to be able to open his own bakery, and share his passion with the world. He is an average Joe who through a chance meeting, is introduced to the world of magic. Scamander also meets Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), who as a character, while fun, is a little one dimensional. Tina Goldstein is an ex-auror (a sort of magical detective) who was demoted to handing out permits be-

Entertainment 12 • 16 • 2016

Moana is a Disney princess who stands out from the others. Her strong personality as well as simple things like her body type are different than most others. Moana has a much more muscular and realistic build. Unlike other iconic Disney princesses, she doesn’t have a small waist or stick arms. Her body type makes her more relatable as well as makes the movie more realistic. Overall, Moana was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. The relatability, humor, and all around entertainment of the movie made it one I would watch over and over again. I highly enjoyed the storyline and loved all the characters. Mashed together, these aspects make Moana one of my new favorite Disney movie.

Doctor Strange is the latest of the many Marvel movies that have come out. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Stephen Strange, a brilliant neurosurgeon who gets into a car crash and ruins his hands forever, and turns into a sorcerer who helps defend against trans-dimensional monsters who want to watch our universe crumble. The visuals in this movie are easily one of my favorite things about this movie, featuring reality-bending sorcery fights, and are incredibly realistic. I’m not a huge comic book fan, so I can’t say that I’m an expert on Marvel movies and how their stories all tie together. However, I do like seeing how each superhero fits into the world. You know the Avengers, they help defend the world from things like aliens or other supervillains. Well Doctor Strange is unique in

that it puts magic into the mix, full blown magic. Strange and the rest of his sorcerer friends are all there to defend the earth from threats from other dimensions, not just our one like the avengers. It is directed by Scott Derrickson, who is known for horror movies such as Sinister, the newest Poltergeist and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. The way that he tells the story is well done in my opinion, you know what’s going on at all times and it’s not hard to follow the story. The director does a decent job at introducing memorable characters, and I was left thinking “I can’t wait for the sequel to this!” Now the visuals of the movie… trippy is the only word that comes to mind. The scene when Doctor Strange first sees the world of magic is mind shattering, literally, and the battles that happen are just as amazing. The comic relief

isn’t the best, but the way the story is told makes up for it, so it really isn’t that big of a deal. Overall I would give this movie a 7.5/10. The visuals and special effects alone are one of the best parts about this movie, and the story and characters are well crafted and leave me hoping for the sequel to come out soon. Another one of my favorite parts is how this movie connects with all of the other ones, as shown in the after credits and little things that pop up for the observant individual. I have also heard of a big crossover movie that is coming up, where all of the heroes are going to come together to fight some big threat to the world. Even though that has years to come, it makes me excited to think about.

The beloved Pokemon series received its 14th installment last month and so far, It is being widely regarded as one of the best Pokemon games to be released in recent years, and for good reason too! Pokemon Sun and Moon was released Nov. 18 and is the fastest selling game in Nintendo’s history, selling over 10 million copies worldwide within its first week of being released. I believe this is because Sun and Moon took all the best and most popular features from the game’s previous titles, added some new features, and tied them all together like a nice bow on a gift. While the most recent Pokemon game before Sun and Moon was a sub-par remake, Sun and Moon takes a new twist on the series. Players are given the Alolan region, which is new to the series, and are given 81 new Pokemon that are exclusive to this region. What I really like about this new region is the amount of diversity each island holds. The four islands each have unique areas to explore that all contain specific habitats with different Pokemon, and as this feature was already in previous games, Sun and Moon really made the separate landscapes memorable. The art style for Sun and Moon took a refreshing twist as well. Before, Pokemon games relied on sprites, or 2-Dimensional Animations, up until Pokemon X and Y. Pokemon X and Y was Nintendo’s first attempt at creating an official Pokemon game for the 3DS with a 3D art style and Animation. While the result was a nice change from 2-D, Character models looked more like Gremlins than they did actual, full sized humans, and some Pokemon just didn’t look and feel “right” as they would in 2-D animation. Sun and Moon did an impressive job at fixing previous issues as well as changing the art style and character models to look more alive and real. Not only that, but model animations for humans and Pokemon got more exaggerated and fitting for the Universe they live in, which really gave you a feel of culture for this fictional world. Not only did the art style get changed, but the dialogue in Sun and Moon feels as if it was completely reworked, and for the better. Sun and Moon made me actually WANT to talk to every NPC I encountered because each NPC offered a bit of interesting dialogue or personal story which made the world feel more full and, you guessed it, alive. In Previous titles, maybe, 1/10 NPCs had something actually interesting to say, the other 9 would say something like,” Hey, did you know if you drink water you won’t die of dehydration?” Yeah, Yeah I knew that and so does every living thing on Earth. With Sun and Moon, Dialogue became interesting, it becomes dynamic at some points, and almost all the characters and NPCs have something worthwhile to hear that will actually benefit you as a player. Gameplay wise, It plays like a Pokemon game, catch some dudes, make them fight each other, go make your dudes beat up some bad dudes, etc. However, Sun and Moon makes this seemingly tedious and repetitive task enjoyable through interesting characters and a revamped battle system. The main story is fairly short, though definitely worthwhile to play, and the endgame “after story” was very well executed. One of the things I really admire about Sun and Moon is its ability to keep you intrigued, keep you searching. Once you’re able to beat the main storyline, several paths open up to you, all of which pose quite a challenge, so it keeps you coming back and encourages you to spend time in game getting better and training your team. Pokemon Sun and Moon proved to me that Nintendo and GAMEFREAK can make an original and creative game and that they still have some tricks up their sleeves that will keep me coming back to future titles.


Winter 12 • 16 • 2016

Almost Christmas brings holiday cheer to theatres

Carina Covington Staff Reporter The holiday season calls for new holiday movies which included the new release of the enjoyable film, Almost Christmas. This movie comically highlighted the stress of family gatherings and the struggles a family might face during the holidays. The loss of a beloved mother and wife sets the tone for the movie as the Meyer family comes together for the holiday season. The movie portrays the comedy and stress of having a big family with each member having their own issues. It was directed and written by David E. Talbert. Talbert also directed Baggage Claim and First Sunday. He also wrote and directed the movie What my Husband Doesn’t Know. The common theme throughout the movie was touching showing the importance of family. Almost Christmas also touches on the idea of how to cope with the pain of losing a loved one. In the beginning, you see a couple going through life, having three children and eventually shows the children growing up and the wife (Grace) unexpectedly died. Each of the children who are now all grown up and living on their own deal with personal issues such as divorce, money troubles, drug abuse and adultery, along with the loss of their mother. I had never heard of most of the cast but I thought the performance of the actors and actresses was amazing. Even including the sentiment and hardhsips their characters faced, the performances were very realistic. The husband (Walter) played by Danny Glover, loses his wife early in the movie. As the holiday season approaches he makes his main goal to keep the family happy for 5 days.  This proves to be a challenge as the sisters Rachel (Gabrielle Union who was born in Omaha), and Cheryl (Kimberly Elise) compete with each other throughout the movie. Cheryl is married to Lonnie (J.B. Smoove). Lonnie cheats on Cheryl during the movie causing more drama in the household. Usher plays the character of Evan, the youngest son, and puts on an impressive acting performance. During the movie, he overdoses on painkillers to ease the pain of the loss of his mother. Usher had an emotional scene as the movie was closing and I thought his acting made the situation seem very real.   Although I did enjoy the drama of the movie, I found it to be predictable as to what would happen next.  I found the rating (PG-13) to be appropriate as well as it being categorized as a drama. I wouldn’t recommend it for younger audiences due to foul language and a few mature situations. The movie was a drama but I found some of the dialogue between characters, especially the younger children, to be funny and kept the movie from being overly serious.       If you’re looking for a new holiday movie I would recommend Almost Christmas. Although it is somewhat predictable it is an enjoyable new release.

Have a safe winter break. Love, Common Sense

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